Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 FXUS62 KILM 160141 AFDILM Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Wilmington NC 841 PM EST Mon Jan 15 2018 .SYNOPSIS... Cold and dry high pressure will remain in control into Tuesday. Low pressure will develop off the coast Wednesday, bringing a chance of light rain or snow Wednesday into Wednesday night. Arctic air will build into the area Wednesday night and Thursday. Chilly temperatures Thursday will start to rebound Friday. Temperatures are expected to be above normal later in the weekend and on Monday when showers will begin to return to the area. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 800 PM Monday...Adjusted temp curve downward to account for an early onset to radiational cooling as winds have gone calm in most places. Minimum temperatures will sink to below normal, even for January, ranging between 22-26 inland, 27-30 near the ICW and sea, by daybreak Tuesday. A few of our colder spots may see upper teens. A light N wind will decouple to calm in many locations, given the dense cold air in place presently. Temperature inversion aloft, with an elevated RH layer trapped just below it, will remain overhead, but not enough RH expected, to trip off a major stratus intrusion. Pender county would be the favored location for a few clouds from increased moisture bleeding from the N. Plentiful sunshine in the offering Tuesday which will allow temps to recover to around 50 degrees in the afternoon. A light NW flow is expected Tuesday. Maximums Tuesday around 50, is still about 5 degrees below normal for the day, sustaining an exceptionally chilly January so far. && .SHORT TERM /TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 PM Monday...Deep mid to upper trough will dig down from the Great Lakes to the lower Mississippi Valley Tues night into Wed. This will drive a cold front east into the Carolinas. As this system moves east, expect to see an increase in clouds into Wed morning with the best moisture and lift running through the I-95 corridor late morning Wed into the aftn and toward the coast by late aftn into early evening. Essentially, pcp will be increasing from W to E with enhanced lift and support from mid to upper trough as it pushes east. This leaves a few hours of pcp where the column becomes saturated from the surface up through the mid levels. Temps aloft remain below 0C but it still remains questionable as to how much ice growth there will be. Basically, expect a period of pcp with a mix of rain and snow mainly inland into the aftn with sounding profiles showing fzn pcp probable early on Wed well inland and then again into Wed eve closer to the coast as the cold air comes rushing. Most of the precipitation will fall Wed aftn to early eve with low end QPF amounts and basically no accumulating snow. The best chc of any snow accumulation will be across the extreme northern tier zones, mainly NW zones early and NE zones late. All pcp will end before midnight, ending in mainly snow showers across the Cape Fear region, with plenty of cold and dry air moving in through Thurs morning. The 850 temps plummet down below -10c through early Thurs. Although not expecting much QPF and not counting on any snow accumulations at this point, any lingering water on the ground may turn to some patches of ice into early Thurs morning with the very cold air mass building in. Temps Tues eve should drop out quickly with mainly clear skies and near calm winds, but clouds will move in overnight leading to a rise in temps by morning. Expect most places to drop down to 30 to 35 mainly by midnight with most places between 35 and 40 by 8 to 9am Wed morning. Temps Wed will reach between 40 to 45 by Wed aftn and will plummet as Arctic air builds in behind cold front Wed eve through Thurs morning. Temps will be down near 20 or below by daybreak Thurs with wind chills down in the low teens. && .LONG TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 300 PM Monday...Surface high building in from the west Thu is quickly shifted east by zonal flow aloft. Lack of troughing aloft coupled with quick eastward movement of the surface high will limit duration of cold temps to Thu and Thu night. Warm advection begins on Fri as the center of the high slips south and then east of the area as Fri turns into Sat. Southern stream shortwave moving across the Gulf of Mexico this weekend opens up and weakens as it lifts northeast. By the time it reaches the Southeast Sunday, the wave will have weakened considerably. It may bring an increase in mid- level cloud cover to the area but rainfall is unlikely. Best rainfall chances during the period will be next week when a cold front, trailing a surface low over the Great Lakes, moves into the region on Mon. Still a lot of uncertainty, but there should be a period of moisture return ahead of it, compliments of weak 5h ridging over the weekend. The aforementioned 5h ridge coupled with low level warm advection will produce temperatures 10 degrees above climo during the later half of the period. && .AVIATION /00Z TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/... As of 23Z...VFR through Tuesday. A weak ridge of surface high pressure across the Carolinas will maintain a northerly wind trajectory. Cold front will be entering western Carolinas by 00Z Wed. Cloud cover out ahead of the front will be thickening, but primarily high level cirrus through Tuesday afternoon. Extended Outlook...Rain/MVFR/tempo IFR/with a chance for a wintry mix Wed, otherwise VFR with high pressure in control. && .MARINE... NEAR TERM /THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 800 PM Monday...Still bumpy at sea, but no advisories or cautionary headlines are in place. The roughest of marine segments, will lie from Cape Fear north, where gusts to 20 kt from the N and 3-4 ft seas will prevail, and up to 5 ft 20 NM offshore. Since the majority of the waters will remain 3-4 ft here, no cautionary headline has been issued. Winds will noticeably ease into Tuesday, and seas will respond by subsiding another 1-1.5 feet. E swell every 9 seconds will interact with a moderate N chop of wind-seas overnight, with the chop diminishing Tuesday. SHORT TERM /TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT/... As of 300 PM Monday...High pressure will get squeezed out by a coastal trough to the east and a cold front approaching from the west. This should maintain a mainly light off shore flow Tues night into Wed but once the deep mid to upper trough pushes a cold front through late Wed, a strong northerly surge will develop as Arctic air rushes over the waters Wed night into Thurs morning. Therefore expect seas mainly 2 to 4 ft Tues night into Wed, but increasing up to 4 to 6 ft in strong gusty NW to N winds up to 25 kts late Wed into Thurs morning. LONG TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/... As of 300 PM Monday...High pressure west of the region Thu will quickly move east-southeast, passing south of the waters Fri night into Sat. Offshore flow at the start of the period will be 15 to 20 kt but wind speeds drop off pretty quick as the gradient following the exiting front/low relaxes. Gradient will remain weak Fri and Sat with speeds 10 to 15 kt Fri diminishing to 10 kt or less Sat. Seas 3 to 5 ft at the start of the period trend down to 2 to 3 ft Thu night into Fri and will remain 2 to 3 ft through the end of the period. && .ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... SC...None. NC...None. MARINE...None. && $$ NEAR TERM...MJC/RJD SHORT TERM...RGZ LONG TERM...III AVIATION...CRM

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